As Diray strives to shine a light on successful women in direct response, we recently reached out to our longtime friend and client, Ann Marie Mullen, VP of Marketing for Idea Village, to discuss her experience in the industry, the trends that are impacting direct response, and her advice to others looking to start a similar career.
DM: Ann Marie, we’ve partnered closely with you over the years and we know you have a lot of knowledge of the industry. Tell us about your role at Idea Village.
AMM: As VP of Marketing for Idea Village, I’m primarily involved in the day-to-day management of our direct-to-consumer advertising programs. This includes ensuring that we meet all established goals including profitability, budget, and sales for both direct-to-consumer and retail.
DM: What changes have you seen in the consumer goods/direct response space during your time in the industry?
AMM: Well, to be successful today, companies need to be customer-centric. With the explosion of social media and Amazon reviews, the customer must be taken care of. High-quality products at an exceptional value is the cornerstone to success. We must listen to our customers and take care of them—or we fail.
DM: What future trends do you see for the consumer goods industry and/or direct response?
AMM: Today, we are realizing that the customer is everywhere, and we need to be flexible and creative in our communication by medium. There is no one size fits all. We are creating a symphony.
DM: What is one defining moment that stands out in your career?
AMM: For me, it was when I left direct marketing, went into general advertising, and discovered how much I enjoyed the excitement and reward of the direct response business. In direct marketing, you virtually get to build something from nothing. It’s highly accountable.
DM: What advice would you give others looking to follow a similar career path?
AMM: I think having a degree in business is very helpful. I would also recommend gaining experience both from the agency and client side. And, most important, having at least a fundamental understanding of direct marketing principles is key. With the way digital is today, these principles could not be more relevant and necessary for success.
During our 30th anniversary year, Diray will feature blogs that look at where we have been, where we are, and where we think the industry is going.